Thanks to turbocharging and clever hybrid systems, speed isn't enough to make a great poster car anymore. Instead, the vehicles that stand out now are those that manage to pull on the driver's heartstrings. Whether it be because of their sharp looks or intoxicating sound, these six-figure machines have to offer more than ever while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of what road-doing performance vehicles can do.
Enter this week's tester, the Ferrari F8 Tributo, the latest in a long line of V8-powered machines wearing the prancing horse. Thanks to its aero-focused design, top-notch performance, and rewarding driving experience, the F8 is a car that wakes up all of your senses. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this supercar is not how it behaves at full throttle but instead how it invites its driver to rack up miles.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Design
One look at the Ferrari F8 Tributo immediately reveals how its designers focused on aerodynamics. Out of all the cars the Italian carmaker has debuted over the past decade, the F8 is easily one of the most angular, littered with intakes, vents, and clever aero throughout. Take the front end, for example, which borrows from the 488 Pista with its clever S-Duct that begins as a small opening in the front bumper but cuts through the hood, allowing the air to flow over the car more easily. While this system is impressive from an engineering perspective, Ferrari incorporated it in a way that it's almost hidden in plain sight, blending in nicely with the car's overall design.
The longer you stare at the F8, the more little ducts and intakes you'll notice, such as those positioned cleverly above the headlights. The result of these tweaks is a 10 percent more aerodynamically efficient car than the 488 GTB it replaced, delivering more downforce without an increased drag coefficient. However, the F8's most significant design achievement is that it manages to take all of these functional elements and execute them in a way that gives the car a very aggressive look, visually separating itself from the models that preceded it.
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The rear is perhaps the greatest example of this, ditching the dual tail lights of old in exchange for a set of smaller quad lamps tucked neatly beneath the rear spoiler. The positioning of the lights gives the rear of the F8 greater depth, almost inviting passersby to look closely to take in all of its intricate details. As with the front, there's plenty of clever 488 Pista-inspired aero here as well.
While historically, most cars wearing the prancing horse leave the factory wearing a red coat of paint, my tester did not. Instead, it's finished in Blu Corsa, a very vibrant shade of blue that helps accentuate the car's body lines while reflecting a ton of light, resulting in a very bright finish. Throw in the optional set of 20-inch wheels, and my tester is likely one of the best-specced F8's I've ever seen. Combined with all of the design improvements and aero elements, you're left with a car that is not only impressive but genuinely beautiful.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Performance / Drive
Powering the Ferrari F8 Tributo is yet another gift from the 488 Pista. It's a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pushing out 710 horsepower and 568 pounds of torque. Thanks to its sub-3,200-lb curb weight, the F8 hits 62 mph in 2.9 seconds before continuing to a top speed of 211 mph. While these stats are undoubtedly hypercar quick, they don't tell the F8's full story because what's perhaps most impressive about this mid-engined Ferrari is how it delivers that performance.
Put your foot down anywhere in the rev range, and the F8 Tributo rockets forward. Regardless if you're at a stoplight or doing triple-digit speeds, the twin-turbo V8 always has more to give, seemingly never running out of steam. There's virtually no turbo lag despite peak torque coming in at 3,250 rpm. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sending all of that power to the rear wheels is equally fast and incredibly responsive. With immediate upshifts and crispy downshifts, the F8's transmission and engine are perfectly matched to take full use of the available power.
Thanks to a massive set of standard carbon-ceramic brakes, the F8 can not only slow down from its mind-boggling runs but can do so repeatedly, with no noticeable fade regardless of how hard it is pushed over multiple hours of driving.
Turn into a corner, and the F8's steering rewards you with excellent feedback along with a very agile front end with endless amounts of grip. This is the type of car you can throw into a corner ten mph too fast, and it will still somehow manage to cling on for dear life. Admittedly, we've got all of those aforementioned aero bits to thank for that. However, aside from sheer handling performance, the F8 delivers an incredibly composed drive. It was virtually impossible to get the F8 to misbehave during multiple runs through the canyons. All of its stability and traction systems are nicely tuned to keep you from hurdling into the side of a mountain, despite really pushing the kind of speeds a normal road can handle.
Once things slow down a bit, and the F8 is tasked with navigating a crowded city such as Los Angeles, it reveals another side of its personality. That's because, thanks to its magnetic dampers, its suspension is quite comfortable, soaking up even significant imperfections on the road. Despite my tester's lack of a front lift system, it wasn't an issue, clearing driveways even if with just a penny's width of space to spare. The secret sauce behind the F8's comfort is its Bumpy Road mode, which softens up the suspension, regardless of what driving mode you're in.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Interior
The Ferrari F8 Tributo's interior looks like nothing else on the market. With all of its infotainment and driver-assist controls aimed squarely at the person behind the wheel, they're not only easy to operate but quickly accessible. The star of the show is undoubtedly the steering wheels, which houses more buttons than an airliner's cockpit. Aside from the big red start button, the wheel houses your indicators, drive modes, suspension modes, and windshield wiper settings. While the onslaught of buttons is intimidating at first glance, their purpose becomes clear as there's more room for the F8's excellent large fixed paddles.
On the entertainment side, the F8 may just house the smallest infotainment screen I've ever seen. However, thanks to optional Apple CarPlay connectivity, there's no shortage of features. While its size is a drawback, the fact that it's neatly integrated into the dash is a major plus, eliminating the need for an additional screen on the dashboard. Overall, the F8's interior design is sleek and incredibly well put together, with enough leather and contrasting stitching to go around.
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My tester came equipped with the F8's flagship chairs, the Daytona carbon-backed sport seats. Since these are the most aggressive options, they're far from the most comfortable available. However, given that they're inside a 710-hp supercar, they're perfectly matched for their intended purpose. There's tons of lateral support, keeping the driver in position nicely without squeezing too much.
The interior offers surprisingly good sound insulation on the highway, nicely complementing the aforementioned magnetic suspension. The result is that the F8 is just a lovely place to be. This is the type of vehicle its owners will want to put miles on.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Pricing
The Ferrari F8 Tributo is a premium product that delivers a premium experience, and its price tag certainly reflects that. Despite a base price of just under $277,000, optional extras such as the stunning paint, optional wheels, carbon fiber trim, and Apple CarPlay, amongst others, quickly push that figure well past $350,000. However, the F8 is a car that delivers on virtually every front, providing outstanding performance while simultaneously tugging on the driver's heartstrings as a proper supercar should. While competitors offer similar performance for similar money, what the F8 nails is delivering a $350,000 experience.
Whether it pulls you in with its angular looks or impressive power stats, there's plenty to love about the Ferrari F8 Tributo. The term "daily driver supercar" gets thrown around quite a lot these days. However, the F8 is a true embodiment of that. While its twin-turbo powerhouse of an engine delivers enough speed to scare seasoned drivers, its suspension and interior are comfortable enough to tackle even the worst city streets. As a result, the F8 is a car that makes driving accessible, regardless of speed, inviting its driver to spend more time behind the wheel. Thanks to its endless charm and capabilities, the F8 stands as a proper V8 Ferrari that draws on its heritage while embracing modern tech in the search of insane performance.
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